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14 November 2019

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different clue

I agree with Quartered Safe Out Here. "Avoid China" can be very hard to do. Enough American industry has been exterminated that there is no made-in-America version of many items to find anymore.

Even things that were made in other First World countries are made in China now. When I wanted garden clippers of various kinds, I could still find good not-China clippers made by Fiskars of Finland. Just lately every Fiskars anything I look at says in tiny letters "made in China".

I remember reading 10 or more years ago about how some high-powered Yuppie Investors had bought Stanley Thermos to shut down their plants in Tennessee and have them made in China instead. To get rich by working the differential-costs-and-conditions arbitrage rackets as per Free Trade. So I bought some Tennessee Stanleys from a couple of stores for the future, knowing that they would eventually all be gone.

Sometimes, made-in-China is the only thing there is now. One would pay more for the made-in-America version, but it doesn't exist.

different clue

Exactly. America should . . . withdraw from the WTO, cancel MFN for China, work with Mexico and Canada on at least a partial repeal of NAFTA allowing for each country to re-protectionise its industry and agriculture, look at how many of the GATT Rounds we should withdraw from in order to seal off our national economy against undercutting by lower costs-and-standards areas.

A re-protectonised America would be able to use the next few decades to restore those basic survival industries we used to have and keep eachother employed with. Americans used to make our own tableware and pickle jars and etc. for example. And we are still smart enough to make a spoon or a knife or a fork or a pickle jar at living wages and tolerably low pollution levels IF we restore to ourselves the legal permission to exclude such things made at slave wages in all the worst pollution-havens of the world.

We could still permit trade with countries which have standards as high and costly as we have, or even higher and costlier. The only way countries like THAT could outcompete us is on quality, and such competition might press us to raise our quality-level to meet theirs.

different clue

I don't believe the economic globalists ever personally believed this themselves. I believe their intention was always to work the differential-conditions arbitrage rackets and make personal money as they drove American wealth and conditions all the way down to the lowest possible level.

Amir

Please inform Russia, Philippines, NK, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Djibouti, Iran, Iraq, Syria ... of the Chinese lack of diplomatic talent and inability to create a new Chinese Diplomatic Wall. Then go one explaining the Chinese lack of convertible capabilities to the rest of Europe, East Afrika or for that natter the rest of it. It is true that the US attempts to block the Chinese has deprived the latter of the allies but doing so has created a wasteland that will produce Che Guevara, Allende and Castro 2.0 versions; this time not ideologically but existentially motivated.

Amir

Please visit Moscow & Petrograd before stating that Russians are Europeans. Russians are Russians.

Amir

It really is ironic if US government accuses China of “Muslim Bashing”: where you hibernating the last two & half decade?
Xinjiang rebels are being cultivated by US’ proxy The Bone Saw Bandit MBS, as Ukinazis are & Al Nusra in Syria still is.
Maybe the problem is that US goes everywhere with guns & missiles & the Chinese arrive with silk & cellphones. The former paradigm needs to change but the questions is whether we have anything else than hammers because as the cliche goes we then will only see nails.

Amir

No war if Tulsi2020 makes it through the rigged DNC primary traffic jam, intended to allow the owners of this country to choose their candidate in the second round.

Amir

Indeed change back to the future, US as a trading nation as opposed to “color revolution painting artist”. When an Iranian carpentry shop has to choose between competing with cheaper Chinese products or getting bombed by US, he inexplicably chooses the former and avoid collaborating with the latter (an real case study)

Amir

It is not all Potomac’s making. The entire population went with it. It is easier to play with toys than make them. I said it before, in VT, the group that was working on “advanced materials” (later used to make the UAV frames had only ONE American ingenieur; admittedly that Jewish Full Professor was the head of the department. Hard work is... well hard. ALL my Chinese colleagues are EXTREMELY hard working, one logarithmic scale difference.

Amir

I think you have NEVER seen a Chinese molecular biology professor, UAV making engineer, physician, pathologist,,,
The mindset of blaming someone else instead of introspection will not bring about any change. IMHO the change of mindset needed to allow for US to compete with China will require a MASSIVE mobilization, improvement of UNIVERSAL education, investment in research (no US is not putting the money down for research), willingness to do the “undesirable” work,... without sounding arrogant, I think most of the people are not willing to sweat for this, so they blame others for their success; explaining the xenophobia.

Amir

And he is on route to be known as Vlad Velikiy (don’t know Russian, paraphrased)

Patrick Armstrong

Alliance are formed because of common enemies. Beijing and Moscow have a common enemy.
Some sort of Washington-Moscow arrangement might have been possible once upon a time but that time has passed.
Why or how could Moscow ever trust Washington?

All curves in Russia and China are up; what do we see in the USA (or Europe)? So, even if it could trust Washington, what's the benefit to Moscow of attaching itself to it?

Linda

So you believe that foreign policy should be conducted by the military?

Babak Makkinejad

So, in USA, the Elites want to ship jobs to China, and the Plebs wish to fight Muslims all the while totting guns and smoking dope?

That does not make China an enemy, only an opportunist.

turcopolier

Babak

What % of Americans "smoke dope?"

David Habakkuk

fredw,

What you are articulating is precisely the delusion that has caused the United States and its allies to push Russia into the arms of China.

Consider how the situation looks, if you are a Chinese strategist, trying to work out the implications of the fact that the very success of your country’s economic strategy has massively increased its dependence on sources of raw materials and markets, which are potentially vulnerable to interdiction by American naval power.

Looking at Russia’s weakness, do you then say – this is a wonderful opportunity to take back the territories lost to that country when we were weak?

Or do you say: What we need is what might be termed a ‘Mackinderite consolidation’, providing us with access to raw materials and markets which cannot be interdicted by American naval power?

If you draw that conclusion, then rather obviously you are going to want to exploit Russia’s weakness to build a lasting ‘entente.’

Meanwhile, a prudent Chinese strategist could also be expected to look for means of combatting American naval power.

As it happens, working out how to sink American carrier battle groups, and neutralise the threat from American submarines, was something to which the Soviet Navy devoted a vast amount of effort throughout the Cold War.

Since the ‘honeymoon’ with the West broke down, it has again been a central focus.

Getting access to relevant technologies – and perhaps also learning from Russian strategic arguments – might perhaps be considered a sensible thing to do by Chinese naval planners.

In addition, for both countries, there are obvious advantages in a situation where a substantial proportion of U.S. naval assets is directed at the other, and therefore not at them.

Awareness of this does not mean that the Russians are unconcerned about the possibilities of become an appendage of the economically far more successful Chinese, far from it.

However, precisely this fact gives them every incentive to dilute Chinese preponderance by incorporating as many countries as possible in the ‘Mackinderite consolidation.’

When this project started – after the late Yevgeny Primakov became Foreign Minister in January 1996 – the accent was on developing a tripartite relationship with China and India.

As or more important now appear to be the hope that the leading continental European powers – in particular France and Germany – will, as it were, come to their senses and realise that, they too, have no interest in becoming involved in a conflict with China, but can best carve out a ‘niche’ for themselves by ‘balancing it’ in collaboration with Russia.

The argument, obviously, will be that it is not in the interest of the Germans or the French to have their policies hostage to a combination of ‘Russophobia’ which a long history among ‘Anglos’, and the ‘revanchism’ of the ‘insulted and injured’ of Eastern Europe, above all the Balts and the Poles.

There is nothing particularly concealed about Russian thinking on these matters.

A useful recent report from the annual Valdai Group meeting by Anatol Lieven was posted on the Russia Matters’, run out of Harvard University, under the title ‘Valdai 2019 Shows Russia’s Disappointment with West Amid Hopes for New Kind of Link With Europe.’

(See https://www.russiamatters.org/blog/valdai-2019-shows-russias-disappointment-west-amid-hopes-new-kind-link-europe .)

For a very helpful discussion by a leading Russian ‘policy intellectual’ directly concerned with these matters, see a September 2018 article entitled ‘China and Russia: new BFFs thanks to an insecure US’ by Alexander Lukin, who among other positions is Director, Center for East Asian and SCO Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(See https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/book/China-and-Russia-new-BFFs-thanks-to-an-insecure-US-19765 .)

For a rather vivid musical representation of the change, one can perhaps usefully look at a performance of the classic Russian song of wartime commemoration, ‘Zhuravli’, by the late Joseph Kobzon, at the concert at the 70th anniversary ‘Victory Day’ celebrations, boycotted by the West because of Ukraine.

The performance is staged, rather spectacularly, in front of a mock-up of the path leading up to the statue ‘The Motherland Calls’ at Stalingrad.

(See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu8x9sbPQcU .)

There are no prizes for guessing who the young soldiers are being told they may have to fight, if the worst comes to the worst. Equally revealing, however, is the cutaway in the middle, to Putin and Xi Jinping sitting side by side.

Jim S

I hope you are correct, but as capable and sincere as Gabbard seems, she'll need more than fortitude to maintain her independence if she's elected.

Norbert M Salamon

Sir:
the newest data that I found was for 2013, indicating 14M users in US. the data is probably underestimation a usage increased over the years.

turcopolier

NMS

We are talking marijuana, hemp and other smokables, right? What is the % in Canada?

Babak Makkinejad

Please look at this:

https://www.verywellmind.com/rates-of-illicit-drug-abuse-in-the-us-67027

In my experience, all social strata are involved.

The usage is defended on the Priciple of Liberty, to which I strenuously object.

Babak Makkinejad

This year, Michigan legalized marijuana, the high-way to heroin and such others. That means people who oppose drugs are a minority in Michigan, and likely the rest of the United States.

Jim S

I was asking more of Moscow's commitment to work with Beijing. Russia and China have good relations now, and I was suggesting that future problems are not a reason to abandon their alliance--but what's the limit?

Curves in Russia are up, but my armchair read is that China's economy is increasingly held together with chewing gum and bits of string; China financialized its economy following the West's pattern and now it's paying the piper, just as we have. It's so clear to me that I think anyone that doesn't see it must not be really looking at China or is actively ignoring reality. I hope Moscow is looking; how will Russia respond to China's rising internal pressures?

Fred

Linda,

We had a presidential election in 2016, I don't recall any for LTCs (vindman) or FSOs (Yovanovich, Kent, Taylor) or bureaucrats.

English Outsider

I don't think Westerners are bloodthirsty, Babak.  Merely uninformed.  Remember the fuss there was when ISIS got at the Yazidis.  When that news got out the public reaction was immediate and it was a reaction of concern rather than satisfaction.  Trouble was, no one much asked what ISIS was doing there in the first place, who let them in, where they got the arms and transport from etc.

I still reckon that as far as we average plebs are concerned the problem is an information problem.  Mr and Mrs Average are not, to their minds, engaged in some great civilisational clash.  Just haven't the faintest idea of what's going on.  So we swallow Mr Cameron's seventy thousand moderate rebels, or believe we are combating Russian revanchism in the Ukraine, because that's about the only message we get.

But on past form I'm not sure I'm going to convince you on that one.  And we have a generation brought up on the most violent of video games who therefore won't find what they might happen to see on a screen that disturbing.  Not when it's several thousand miles away.

China's very powerful, to my mind dangerously unstable, and has bitter memories of past Western interference.  In those circumstances the distinction between enmity and opportunism might perhaps get blurred.

I followed up your reference to what was happening in Sistan and Baluchestan province.  Looked like a real witches brew.  What is the danger of that spilling over?

different clue

In what way is marijuana the high-way to heroin and such others? What per cent of marijuana users took the high-way to heroin? What per cent took the high-way to such others?

And now that marijuana is " state-legal" in Michigan, and will be carried by non-criminals who are not linked to criminals in the heroin bussiness or in the such others bussiness, how many marijuana users do you think will make the effort and court the danger to go out of their way to seek heroin and such others? Do you offer a prediction about that?

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